Over the next six weeks, MLB-DI will take a look at each teams draft class, breaking down the best — and most questionable — over the past week.
Next up: The Athletics. The A’s had six of the first 106 picks in the draft, including three in the top fifty. Did the A’s follow up their solid 2011 draft with another winner?
To the jump!
The Decision Makers
General Manager: Billy Beane
Director, Scouting: Eric Kubota
No School, undefined: 1 — Yes, that’s how it’s listed. Yes, it did make me chuckle.
Position Players: 21
Corner infielders: 04
Middle infielders: 07
The First Ten Rounds
Steal: Player was selected several rounds — or in the case of the first-round, several picks — earlier than his value indicated.
Solid: Player was taken later than his value indicated.
Average: Player was selected where his value indicated.
Slight-reach: Player was taken slightly earlier than his value indicated.
Reach: Player was drafted several rounds or picks earlier than his value indicated.
|01.11||Addison Russell||SS||Pace HS (FL)||Average|
|CA.34||Daniel Robertson||SS||Upland HS (CA)||Average|
|CA.47||Matt Olson||1B||Parkview HS (GA)||Slight-Reach|
|02.62||Brian Maxwell||C||Birmingham Southern||Reach|
|03.106||Kyle Twomey||LHP||El Dorado HS (CA)||Average|
|04.139||B.J Boyd||CF||Palo Alto HS (CA)||Average|
|07.229||Cody Kurz||RHP||Oxnard JC||Reach|
|08.259||Kris Hall||RHP||Lee University||Average|
|09.289||Dakota Bacus||RHP||Indiana State||Average|
|10.319||Brett Vartigan||RHP||Cal-Santa Barbara||Average|
Russell has seen his stock go up and down throughout the calendar year, and at the end of the day, his athleticism and bat speed were good enough to justify this pick. I think he’s going to end up at third-base, but he should be plus there, and it wouldn’t stun me if he sticks at short, either. No player gets as high of reviews about his work ethic as Russell, and it wouldn’t stun me if he’s the first high-school player to see the bigs in a couple of years.
Robertson is much less likely to stick at short than Russell — he’s a 40 runner at best and he’s growing – but the bat should play there and he’s one of the smarter players in the class as well. Nothing really stands out, but the “gamer” tag gets thrown out there, and there’s a chance that you have a Russell-Robertson double play combination in 2015.
The Olson pick very much surprised me, as I thought the college-vibe would keep him out of the first-round, and I didn’t think he was a first-day talent. He’s a strong kid, and the swing doesn’t need a ton of work, but the bat speed is below-average and the hit tool doesn’t grade out at this point.
Maxwell was one of the true stunning picks of the draft, and was a guy that I quite honestly hadn’t heard of until a few days before the draft. The numbers he put up against inferior competition were fantastic, but in the video I’ve seen, he doesn’t have the bat speed necessary to hit for power at the big league level. I could look foolish calling this pick a reach in a few years, but based on process, this was a head-scratcher.
I really liked the Sanburn pick twelve selections later, however. Arkansas completely misused the right-hander, and I think he can be a top-notch reliever with two plus pitches.
Twomey is the definition of projection, but put together a solid senior season and flashes a plus changeup and a fastball that offers both deception and life. I don’t think he’s going to be an easy sign, but he’s a solid risk in the third round.
B. J Boyd has tons of athleticism — he was a kick-returner for Palo Alto HS — and he should be a solid centerfielder at the next level, despite the arm-strength being below-average. He’s incredibly raw — as most two-sport guys are — but the ceiling is a leadoff hitter than can steal you 30 bases and play plus defense.
Do not let the average value grade confuse you: I loved this draft. There’s as much upside in this class as any draft outside of San Diego and Houston, and outside of the somewhat wacky selections of Olson and Maxwell, there’s not really any reaches in this class. I have been hard on the Athletics over the past few years, but their last two drafts — at least in terms of process — have been fantastic. Kudos to them.